Flight Centre's social media specialist Sam Locke recently enjoyed some time in Mauritius with Beachcomber Hotels. En route from the luxury resort of Dinarobin to the six star resort of Royal Palm Sam and her group were taken to an authentic Creole cooking lesson and eating session. Here she tells us all about it and more importantly, shares the recipe for a traditional chicken curry! For those of you who like to please your taste buds or experience true local culture when you are abroad, this one's for you.
Mauritian Creole cuisine is absolutely delicious and is now definitely in my top 5 foods list! The Creole cuisine is made up of a number of influences, including African, Indian, French and Chinese. Fresh herbs, chili, tropical fruits and vegetables, as well as crushed ginger and garlic are are all staples in the Creole cuisine.
After wandering through the fresh food markets in Port Louis we were ready and very excited to be heading into the hills to Escale Creole. Escale Creole is a mother and daughter operation and is a combination of a restaurant, rum distillery (they make their own spiced rum) and cooking school. It is all located within a very Mauritian shed style building with pots, pans, flowers and antique collectibles decorating every wall. The garden is large and beautifully landscaped with lush trees and blossoming flowers. Rum in hand, food in belly, I could have sat there all day. Today we share with you a recipe from the cooking class.
Traditional Chicken Curry Ingredients
Ingredients (for 4 people)
½ fresh chicken
5 big onions
4 cloves of garlic and 10gms of fresh ginger
10 stems of thyme
2 stems of parsley
4 stems of curry leaves
100ml cooking oil
Three teaspoons of curry powder
1 tin of peeled tomatoes
1 bunch of fresh coriander
Salt and pepper to taste
Method - Preparing the chicken
Cut chicken into chunky pieces with bones remaining in
Marinate in 50ml of oil, salt and pepper, ½ the crushed garlic and ginger, ½ the thyme and all of the chopped coriander and parsley stems - overnight if possible
Method - Cooking the curry
Heat extra oil in a large pan, add the chicken in a singer layer, until well browned all over. Keep chicken in the pan.
In the middle of the pan, stir-fry the onions until lightly browned, add extra garlic and ginger and thyme. Stir-fry for 5 mins, preventing onions from burning
Bring down the heat and allow to cook for another 10 minutes
In the middle of the pan, also add the chopped tomatoes; cover and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Add the curry powder, ½ of the chopped coriander leaves and the water and cook for 10 more mins
Now the chicken chunks can be mixed in the sauce thoroughly. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 – 30 mins, stirring occasionally until chicken is tender
Before serving the curry, sprinkle the rest of the chopped coriander leaves. Serve with rice.